Are there simple things you struggle with even though you've been playing a while?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Another thread gave me the idea for this one. Is there anything that you feel is simple and yet you struggle with it even though you've been playing a while?

For example, I've been playing drums for about 25 years now, and I still struggle with tuning at times...especially the snare. I tend to overtigthen the heads and the strainer, then I sit there and wonder why my snare sounds choked out.

[digression] The snare at my church is REALLY dialed in darn-near perfect, so I took my drum dial in there and measured the tension. The top head is set at 85, and the reso is at 73. I tuned three of my snares to the same settings, loosened the strainers, and they sound great! [/digression]

By now, I should be able to tune with my eyes shut, so to speak; however, I feel like it's the first time I've done it.

How about you? Is there something out there that you struggle with in terms of playing or maintaining your equipment that should be simple?
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
Yeah, tuning wise I'm very much trial-and-error, minimum viable product.

I struggle with playing confidently. Like you, I must be approaching 25 years, nearly 10 years pro, and I still over think it sometimes. It really shows in some of my solo playing.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
I struggled with a beat recently. It's supposed to be quarter notes on the high hat, with a very busy bass drum part. I could play it with eighth notes no problem, but quarter notes were impossible at first.

It made me wonder if drummers have a leading limb - kind of hard to explain.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I struggle composing original part & fills on original music. My drumming vocabulary is limited, and it shows when I try to make fresh sounds.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
35 years of playing and tuning still doesn’t come naturally. I’m fine with finding the right tone, so long as batter and reso are tuned the same. Trying to find that same fundamental note wit either side higher/lower takes way too long. I eventually get there, but it’s just not worth the hassle without tuning aids. Probably because I don’t really know what each note sounds like having never played horns or strings.

Fills are the other thing. I’ve never been captain fancy pants, so complicated fills take a ton of work to figure out. I’ve been working hard on these lately and finally see some confident executions, but I guess 35 years of not playing enough variety didn’t force me to grow. That’s changing now. Drums used to be a way of popping off steam and it was fine for years. It’s all I ever really had time for, but I’ve been really focusing on trying to master the instrument.

Drums have been getting more fun by the minute since!
 
How I usually replace a resonant head on a snare:
- rotate it a bit to make sure it sits nicely on the bearing edge
- put hoop onto the drum and repeat
- insert tension rods and make sure they are in line with the lugs
- finger tighten tension rods
- continue with a drum key

- realize that the gap in the hoop is nowhere near the strainer
- go back to step 1
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
I still really struggle putting snare wires back after replacing a snare-side head or replacing with new snare wires. I always think, 'I need someone to hold the other end while I attach this end.' And that's what I usually do!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
My equipment is very simple, so not much there.

Tuning isn't muhch of an issue either.

I will however struggle a bit with anything new or a style I haven't played for a while.

I move my kit around more now and change a few things regularly. That's probably part of the reason why I've started dropping my sticks a lot again. Might also be related to me playing much more and right now not really stopping when I'm tired.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
After decades of playing with no hearing protection I struggle to hear. I'm old too so I struggle to remember. LOL. I struggle starting off songs-like a mental apprehension I can't seem to beat worried I'll screw it up (you can often be your own worse enemy). That arises sometimes learning new songs-some part can just jump out and bite you as a mental block. I guess more like "drummer anxiety" -Oh no don't screw that up. I struggle with fills too-in fact more and more I like accent on toms rather than drum rolls on toms (but I like in practice playing doubles, triples and rudiments on toms-I don't like to play them with music more and more for some reason-I don't know if that is good or bad)? I struggle with sticking with my double pedal long enough to gain much success. I struggle with poor technique but I don't know if I can fix it at this late date-old habits and all. I struggle with solos but I generally don't like them-though there are some exceptions. I struggle with a bad temper and it can get the better of me so I fear I'm going to mouth off and get my butt kicked-I'm old I don't think I can back it up anymore LOL. Well there's a start to my struggles but I don't want to bore you with the rest.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
For years I struggled with getting my shuffle feeling good and confident. So I joined a blues band - talk about jumping off the deep end!

Now I feel great about my regular shuffle. I'm still very insecure and hesitant with my half-time shuffle, though. I end up playing the hi-hat with both hands; if I try to do it with just the right hand, it becomes a spectacular train wreck within a couple of measures. More practice, I guess!
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Somebody said in an interview posted on here months ago that the last thing a drummer learns is confidence. Very profound, and true...
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Somebody said in an interview posted on here months ago that the last thing a drummer learns is confidence. Very profound, and true...
Very true, and I think in this YouTube age it is probably even more difficult because all we see are all these chops drummers and there's less opportunity to go out and play in a lot of ways than there used to be.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Very true, and I think in this YouTube age it is probably even more difficult because all we see are all these chops drummers and there's less opportunity to go out and play in a lot of ways than there used to be.
YouTube makes almost everyone else look like incompetent schmucks. It’s easy to forget all the different angles and camera shots make it so easy to take out flubs and insert perfectly executed parts. The more pizzazz the more opportunity to fix things.

You then get one guy posting something 99% accurate with one take and they get shredded, because they didn’t meet the fake standards. I also feel this “standard” is partly responsible for live gigs dying. Tough to compete with all the “top performances,” when everyone expects a band to provide the same level of performances others have posted on YouTube.
 

Matty D

Junior Member
Jeez, this would be a very long list. I have days when I feel like I can do nothing wrong, and days when I feel like I just got started. :)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Somebody said in an interview posted on here months ago that the last thing a drummer learns is confidence. Very profound, and true...
Ha, ha, ha, ha.. That is true-probably the reason I have "anxiety"- the root problem-well that and I generally suck LOL.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I struggle with composing a drum part. When somebody comes to me with a new song, or maybe just a new chord progression and wants me to create a drum track then I feel awkward. I can play some typical overused drum groove but I really want to create something better.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I struggle with not overplaying. When I record myself playing and listen back I wonder why I felt the need to add in modulation, displacement, and linear chops all over the place. At the time it feels great and I am having fun.

Playing slow is another one. I like to play fast and fill up space. See first comment.

Almost 25 years in and I over tighten my snare too. I have started dialing back the resos as well with good results. my 12 inch tom is also a pain. I can get the 10,14 and 16 to sound amazing quick.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I struggle with not overplaying. When I record myself playing and listen back I wonder why I felt the need to add in modulation, displacement, and linear chops all over the place. At the time it feels great and I am having fun.

Playing slow is another one. I like to play fast and fill up space. See first comment.
I too have these same issues. Playing slower has gotten easier, but sometimes hurts my brain. When just playing a groove, sometimes I feel compelled to insert stuff that had no business being there. If I don't keep myself in check, my practice/playing time turns into Solos 101.
 

Dan Knowlton

Junior Member
Bass players................I'm here all week!
Well...speaking as a bassist and drummer I would say it is drummers overplaying and not being able to keep time. As a drummer and a bassist, I would say it is the band leader not being able to clearly describe what he is trying to do in a song!
 
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